Objective: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptors form a hybrid complex with insulin receptors in the liver of mice, which lead to robust signalling to regulate glucose metabolism. Serum HGF levels are high in subjects with metabolic syndrome and/or obesity. Accordingly, we prospectively investigated the relationship between HGF and the development of insulin resistance (IR) in a general population without IR at baseline.
Methods: A total of 1492 subjects received health examinations. After excluding subjects with diabetes and/or IR (n = 402) at baseline, the remaining subjects (n = 1090) were followed-up 10 years later. Complete data sets were available from 716 subjects for prospective analysis. Logistic regression was performed to determine factors associated with the development of IR after 10 years.
Results: In subjects without diabetes at baseline, serum HGF levels were higher (0·26 ± 0·10 ng/ml, n = 259) in subjects with IR than without it (0·22 ± 0·09 ng/ml, n = 1090). After deleting subjects who developed liver disease during follow-up, 188 were found to have developed IR at 10 years after the original screening. HGF (P < 0·05), age (P < 0·001), homoeostasis model assessment index (P < 0·001), HDL-c (P < 0·05; inversely) and hypertensive medication (P < 0·05) were significantly associated with the development of IR by multivariate stepwise logistic regression analysis. A significant (P < 0·05) relative risk [1·75 (95%CI: 1·01-3·12)] for the development of IR was observed in the highest (≥0·30 ng/ml) vs the lowest categories (<0·15 ng/ml) of HGF after adjustments for confounders.
Conclusions: Our 10-year prospective study suggests that elevated serum HGF levels were significantly associated with the development of IR.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.